It is February. As an integrative wellness and life coach, I cannot help but reflect on the state of Black America as it relates to our overall health and wellness. Although many of us are committing to wellness, I regret to admit that the majority of us are still struggling to care for ourselves mentally, emotionally, physically, and even spiritually. It's a big problem. After my workshops, I am surprised with the number of people, usually women of color, who say, "I really needed to hear that. I am not taking care of myself. I realize I have some work to do." Comments like these are always exciting. Someone is ready to do their work! I then follow up with the same question: "How committed are you willing to be with your time, energy, and resources towards bettering your life?" This is usually where the issue arises: She has no time. She has little energy. And, what extra resources? Doing the work then becomes a privilege to those who have extra. Those who have something to give away.
Here is the problem. She is not quite ready to change her life, so that she can change her life. She's not quite ready to do whatever it takes to save herself. But as Fannie Lou Hammer reminds us at some point we have to be, "sick and tired of being sick and tired." I have realized that in order to move toward wellness one must become adamant about their own healing. You have to be unapologetic about saving yourself. As people of color we have histories of PTSS (Post-traumatic slave syndrome) that have influenced how we interact in our families, in society, in our romantic relationships, and even with ourselves. As an enslaved people, we endured the unthinkable. In a state of physical captivity, many of us lost our minds. As the descendants of Kings and Queens who were also enslaved, we have do to the work to reclaim or mental, spiritual, emotional, and physical well-being. Being well and living well is a powerful way to honor our ancestors. Someone has to commit to the work. Someone has to break the chains. Will that someone be you?
I will share one of the quotes I found when I decided to unapologetically change my life. It was written by Bryonie Wise. It is one of the most powerful things I've ever read. I revisit it often. Here it is:
“I hereby break all contracts I made unconsciously & consciously before I knew the depth of my own Spirit; the silent ones, the ones I inherited, passed down & accepted as my own from generation to generation.
I hereby severe all ties with that which holds me down & back, unable to see the glimmer of what I know to be true, whether by my own creation or by expectations tied like weights around my ankles by others lost in the sea of their own confused hearts.
I hereby reclaim my right to choose how my story unfolds, armed with creativity, a heart made of gold & reverent humility.
I hereby fully accept all of this living & what-is-yet-to-come with brash integrity & loving determination.
I hereby swear to use my superpowers for the love of all beings & I return anything that no longer serves my Higher & Lower Self (& the ones Caught-in-Between) with gratitude & consciousness.
I do this all with love, from the great source of it found in my very own beating heart."
What has been passed down to you? What contracts have you made that you are ready to break? Did you subconsciously agree to put yourself last? Have you unconsciously decided to suffer? Have you involuntarily agreed to carry the shame and guilt? Did you make a silent contract not to tell the truth about you, or about them? I encourage you to, "severe all ties with that which holds you down and back." I believe we can return to our rightful place as conscious Kings and Queens. First, we must wake up and commit to our individual and collective wellness. I'd be honored to be your coach as you do the work.
Here's to breaking contracts,
Dr. Adrianne R. Pinkney,
Integrative Wellness and Life Coach